June Cleberates Habanero HEAT!

The Habanero Brings The Heat
Habanero — the little waxy pepper feared by those scared by spice and revered by those that embrace it. Originally discovered thousands of years ago in the Amazon Basin, it evolved into even more diverse varieties as it moved north through what is now Mexico. The name “habanero” actually means “of Havana” as colonial Spanish traders brought it back from Cuba. From there it was traded throughout Africa and eventually Asia. For a little pepper, it has a huge history.

So how do you know which one to get? If you are looking for less heat then look for one that is green or mostly green. A really good clue is examining the skin of the habanero — if you see those vertical stretch marks on it, your pepper is a hot one packed with that uniquely citrus punch habaneros bring to the party.

Variety

Though all the years and countries its been cultivated, the habanero has grown to encompass nearly endless varieties of colors and levels of heat. They start out green and turn colors as they mature. Most commonly seen are habaneros with a red or orange hue but they can be purple, yellow, brown and even white depending on the variety.

A Choice Few Habanero Varieties:

• Scotch Bonnet
• Big Sun
• Habanero Condor’s Beak • Golden Habanero
• Mustard Habanero
• Caribbean Red
• Yucatan White
• Jamaican Chocolate
• White Giant

History

Habanero-Apricot Jelly

What You Will Need
11/2 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
2/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots
6 cups sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped seeded habanero pepper
1 (3-oz.) pouch Ball® Liquid Pectin

Directions

Combine first 2 ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature at least 4 hours or overnight.

Stir together apricot mixture, sugar, and next 3 ingredients in a 6-qt. stainless steel or enameled Dutch oven. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring frequently.

Add pectin, immediately squeezing entire contents from pouch. Continue hard boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam, if necessary. Continued…

 

Ladle hot jelly into a hot jar, leaving 1⁄4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band, and adjust to fingertip-tight. Place jar in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.

Process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat; remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

Preserving Method: Water Bath Canning
Makes about 6 half-pint jars

The buttery flavor of apricots gets a spicy kick from habanero in this gorgeous jelly.

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